Snowboarder Shaun White found himself relating to swimmer Michael Phelps during the Sochi Olympics.
After getting gold medals in the Halfpipe in 2006 and 2010, White finished fourth in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He said he was burned out on the sport and realized he was going through many of the same things Phelps did late in his career.
“I watched a Michael Phelps documentary, videos on him and him just going to the pool every single day, like that life I can imagine can get tough,” White said in his press conference Thursday via NBC. “Same for me [before the 2014 Olympics]. The same things that got me excited and motivated weren’t really working anymore.”
Phelps, who has won 28 Olympic medals, found himself struggling for the same motivation and desire he previously had for swimming while he was prepping for the 2012 Olympics. His reinvigoration was a central theme of his 2016 Summer Games in Rio where he won five golds and a silver.
White, who at 31 is a year younger than Phelps, trained for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang with a new attitude himself.
“At the time I was burning out. It’s hard to admit. At the time my heart wasn’t in it. After that Olympics, the easy fix is if you weren’t strong enough, if you didn’t have the right tricks. But getting the mindset better is really hard. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like if you’ve ever been in a relationship and someone is like, they love you. I wish I could flip a switch and love you back … love snowboarding like I did when I was 7.”
His comeback for this month’s games has been the subject of a documentary series SnowPack: Shaun White and the U.S. Snowboard Team released on Yahoo Sports. During Olympic qualifying, White needed to score a 94 to make it to the games. He got a perfect score; which you can see in the video above. It’s the seventh part in the series and you can view each of the six previous episodes here.
The Men’s Halfpipe competition begins Feb. 12 and can be watched on NBC.
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• U.S. speed skater Shani Davis angry over not being name flag-bearer
• Twitter reacts to openly gay U.S. figure skater declining to meet with VP Mike Pence
• North Korea’s Olympic participation might be violating international sanctions
• At DMZ, scars remain even as South Korea tries to heal
– – – – – – –